162: Cal Evans - 2/2 - Let's talk open source ...

Voices of the ElePHPant / Acquia Podcast Ultimate Cage Match Part 2 - I had the chance to try to pull Cal Evans out of his shell at DrupalCon Amsterdam. After a few hours, he managed to open up and we talked about a range of topics we have in common. In this part of our conversation we talk about 'Getting off the Island', inter-project cooperation in PHP and Drupal's role in that; the reinvention and professionalization of PHP core development; decoupled, headless Drupal 8; PHP and the LAMP stack as tools of empowerment and the technologists' responsibility to make devices and applications that are safe, secure, and private by default.

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, we talked Drupal, PHP convergence and the "PHP Renaissance" (and "Why PHP?"), open source communities, proprietary v open source business and the ethics of helping, the Nomad PHP user group, and more.

Cal on PHP inter-project cooperation

"The PHP community is famous for reinventing the wheel. I've got a closet full of wheels. I don't need any more wheels ... The more all of us can work together ... The fact that we're starting to tear down these walls and stopping reinventing these wheels and starting to work together ... I think this is awesome!"

Decoupled, headless Drupal 8

Cal points out, "All of a sudden, you now have this entire CMS that's headless. I don't have to do the 80% of every project that is exactly the same. It's already built in Drupal! Lemme just take that and then I can do the 20% that is the fun stuff that makes my project special."

Speaking of the fun stuff, as I say in the podcast, here's the biggest benefit I see in Drupal 8 and the biggest differentiator between Drupal and most other projects: "The architecture of Drupal 8 makes it a user interface for building digital businesses. It is a user interface for making APIs and web services – consuming them, outputting them. And the one thing where I believe the Drupal community is going to remain incredibly stubborn is that we are not a developer project to enable developers to do more developing. We're a bunch of developers who've put this system together to empower non-developers to communicate, to build community, to take action in the real world with our technology ... So we will remain the point-and-click community." :-)

We have the technology and the responsibility

Cal puts it like this: "One of the reasons I love being a developer is that it becomes my job to make other people's lives better. What we do makes an impact on everybody, so we need to do it well. Because that makes their lives better, they don't have to worry about those problems. If they want a publishing platform, they want to say something, they can install Drupal, they can get it up and running, and they can get to publishing, which is what they want to do. What we want to do is write code! So it's a win for everybody. But it's wonderful for me to be a developer and to think that what I do has a positive impact on other people."

Guest Dossier

See Cal's full guest dossier in part 1 of this conversation

Interview video